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Importance: Preclinical models suggest dysregulation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection may increase the relative activity of angiotensin II compared with angiotensin (1-7) and may be an important contributor to COVID-19 pathophysiology.Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of RAS modulation using 2 investigational RAS agents, TXA-127 (synthetic angiotensin [1-7]) and TRV-027 (an angiotensin II type 1 receptor-biased ligand), that are hypothesized to potentiate the action of angiotensin (1-7) and mitigate the action of the angiotensin II.Design, Setting, and Participants: Two randomized clinical trials including adults hospitalized with acute COVID-19 and new-onset hypoxemia were conducted at 35 sites in the US between July 22, 2021, and April 20, 2022; last follow-up visit: July 26, 2022.Interventions: A 0.5-mg/kg intravenous infusion of TXA-127 once daily for 5 days or placebo. A 12-mg/h continuous intravenous infusion of TRV-027 for 5 days or placebo.Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was oxygen-free days, an ordinal outcome that classifies a patient's status at day 28 based on mortality and duration of supplemental oxygen use; an adjusted odds ratio (OR) greater than 1.0 indicated superiority of the RAS agent vs placebo. A key secondary outcome was 28-day all-cause mortality. Safety outcomes included allergic reaction, new kidney replacement therapy, and hypotension.Results: Both trials met prespecified early stopping criteria for a low probability of efficacy. Of 343 patients in the TXA-127 trial (226 [65.9%] aged 31-64 years, 200 [58.3%] men, 225 [65.6%] White, and 274 [79.9%] not Hispanic), 170 received TXA-127 and 173 received placebo. Of 290 patients in the TRV-027 trial (199 [68.6%] aged 31-64 years, 168 [57.9%] men, 195 [67.2%] White, and 225 [77.6%] not Hispanic), 145 received TRV-027 and 145 received placebo. Compared with placebo, both TXA-127 (unadjusted mean difference, -2.3 [95% CrI, -4.8 to 0.2]; adjusted OR, 0.88 [95% CrI, 0.59 to 1.30]) and TRV-027 (unadjusted mean difference, -2.4 [95% CrI, -5.1 to 0.3]; adjusted OR, 0.74 [95% CrI, 0.48 to 1.13]) resulted in no difference in oxygen-free days. In the TXA-127 trial, 28-day all-cause mortality occurred in 22 of 163 patients (13.5%) in the TXA-127 group vs 22 of 166 patients (13.3%) in the placebo group (adjusted OR, 0.83 [95% CrI, 0.41 to 1.66]). In the TRV-027 trial, 28-day all-cause mortality occurred in 29 of 141 patients (20.6%) in the TRV-027 group vs 18 of 140 patients (12.9%) in the placebo group (adjusted OR, 1.52 [95% CrI, 0.75 to 3.08]). The frequency of the safety outcomes was similar with either TXA-127 or TRV-027 vs placebo.Conclusions and Relevance: In adults with severe COVID-19, RAS modulation (TXA-127 or TRV-027) did not improve oxygen-free days vs placebo. These results do not support the hypotheses that pharmacological interventions that selectively block the angiotensin II type 1 receptor or increase angiotensin (1-7) improve outcomes for patients with severe COVID-19.Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT04924660.

View details for DOI 10.1001/jama.2023.3546

View details for PubMedID 37039791